Carvings at Kamalapuram. 16 December 1800
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil drawing of carvings at Kamalapura from the Mackenzie Collection, dated 16 December 1800. Inscribed on front in ink is: '16 December, 1800. Campaloor.'
The village of Kamalapura, situated south of Hampi (Vijayanagara), is so called after an inscription engraved on a granite boulder now preserved in the Archaeological Survey of India Museum. The site has preserved the remains of an ancient Hindu fort with large circular bastions at the corners. The Nagareshvara Temple, inside the fort, is renowned for its finely carved wooden screen. The kingdom of Vijayanagara, the City of Victory, was founded by two brothers, Harihara and Bukka, formerly chieftains with the Delhi Sultanate and flourished as a prosperous centre of Hindu art, culture and architecture, until the Battle of Talikota in 1565 when it was defeated by the armies of a coalition of neighbouring Muslim kingdoms, its rivals for supremacy in the Deccan. The ruins of this vast royal city on the bank of the Tungabhadra River lie surrounded by granite hills and the whole area is imbued with mythological significance. In its heyday the city was an influential centre for trade, especially in Arab horses and spices, and welcomed foreign travellers who left accounts of its grandeur. Its plan consisted of a number of zones, the sacred, the urban and the royal.